I just received some more good news---Sex, Murder and a Double Latte will be published in Italy!!
For those of you who have been following my blog you know that I traveled around Europe with a girlfriend when I was 18. The first Italian city we visited was Florence. Florence is spectacularly beautiful and it has such an incredible energy. Of course the churches are beautiful as is the architecture in general but for some reason when I think of Florence the picture that pops into my mind first is that of a young man on a moped yelling obscenities at some guy standing on the sidewalk. Of course I didn’t understand a word of what was being said but I imagined he was righteously angry due to some cruel betrayal of his friendship. On the other hand he could have been a paranoid schizophrenic who had mistaken a stranger for an alien invader. As far as I’m concerned it doesn’t matter what he was saying it still sounded great. Italian is such a beautiful and passionate language. In America when I see a man in the midst of a full blown temper tantrum I am in no way attracted to him but this guy with the black curly hair and rolling rs---well lets just say I wouldn’t have objected to sharing my gelato with him.
The last city I visited in Italy was Venice. There’s no way anyone can go to Venice and not come to understand that it is indeed the most romantic city on the face of the planet. All those movies you see of the gondolas floating gracefully along a canal where one would think streets should be—-believe it or not those are pretty accurate representations of what it’s like. We were there during the late fall which was perfect because there were a limited number of tourists and I was able to stroll through the streets and quietly absorb the city’s charm and intrinsic mysticism.
In between Florence and Venice we stayed in Rome. Rome is amazing. There’s just no other way to put it. Right there in the middle of a completely modern city is the Coliseum. Cars and mopeds rush past it emphasizing the contradiction. One night you can go to a modern jazz club and sip some trendy cocktail and then in the morning after a fairly short bus ride you can be transported back in time as you wander through the Christian catacombs.
I also visited the Vatican. I probably shouldn’t post this in a blog but I’m going to anyway. I’m Jewish so I’m not really up on what constitutes a mortal sin but I’m thinking that while at the Vatican I might have inadvertently committed a big one. My friend and some guy we had picked up on Eurail went to the top of the Vatican to admire the view along side several tourists, priests and nuns. It was cold so I stuck my hand in my coat pocket. Hiding there was some kind of bug. I don’t know if it stung me or bit me but whatever it did it hurt—a lot. Within an hour my hand had swollen to about twice its normal size. But that probably doesn’t excuse what I did. I took Jesus’ name in vain. And I might have sort of thrown the F word in between Jesus and Christ. And I was kind of loud about it. I immediately realized my faux pas (as did everyone within 20 feet) and I tried to correct the situation by loudly apologizing. I then immediately undermined that apology by saying that my hand hurt like hell. I then cursed myself for using the word hell—I probably would have continued to dig a whole for myself if my friends hadn’t quickly escorted me out of there.
So I’m going to try this again. I am truly sorry—I would never be intentionally disrespectful of anyone else’s religion. If you think I should suffer in Hell for my sin then rest assured that I’ve already done that—of course I didn’t call it Hell while I was there, I called it marriage.
Now that I’ve cleared my conscience I want to thank the Italians for welcoming Sophie Katz into your country. It’s nice to know that my characters will be able to speak your language even if I can’t.
Sex, Murder And A Double Latte---May 2005